On September 1 last year, 17 nervous four-year-olds entered the imposing school gates at Paddock to join 850 bigger children at Royds Hall Community School.
Their tiny steps marked a major leap forward for education in Huddersfield.
Some 93 years of history as a secondary school ended and a new breed of school was born in Huddersfield: the through school.
And on the first of this month, Beech Primary School was amalgamated into Royds Hall -although it stays in Golcar - so the through school will teach children from three to 16 .
Children will enter as little more than toddlers and leave as teenagers.
My father has only ever attended one school in his life - Scapegoat Hill some 70 years ago - and now it appears his great grandchildren may do the same.
Since September, the 17 pocket-sized pioneers have been joined by others, and by Easter the new reception class will have a full complement of 30 children.
They have their own airy, specially designed classroom within the main school building with a separate outdoor play area. They take their breaks and mealtimes at different times to the older pupils.
A further two classrooms will be converted in readiness for what will probably be two further reception classes this September.
The matter is still in some doubt following the Reinwood controversy. Kirklees originally proposed to expand that school too, and extra reception classes opened at Reinwood in 2013, 2014 and will again this September.
Building is due to start on a new £5.5m primary school at the front of the existing listed building in July and is due for completion by September 2016 at the latest.
With an intake of 60 four-year-olds annually it will eventually house 420 pupils, bringing the total numbers to over 1,200. The listed school gates are to be moved back and Luck Lane is to be widened to allay road safety fears.
Royds Hall, along with the primary schools Beech, St John’s and Golcar, are all run by Aspire Cooperative Learning Trust. They are foundation schools, giving them more independence over finances and other decisions, but staying within Kirklees Council’s control.
Executive headteacher Melanie Williams privately sympathises with parents caught up in the Reinwood about-turn, but has refused to get involved in the political debate.
Instead she and her staff are focussing on the “fantastic opportunity” of the through school, which she believes will “benefit everybody.”
She said: “It is not about Royds Hall becoming a bigger school, it is about getting the best outcomes for the children here and serving the community.
“When we see the child earlier, we are able to intervene earlier where necessary and give extra support for those with special needs - as well as for the high fliers. We have the knowledge and resources to make those decisions to benefit the child.
“Education is a three-way process between the school, the child and the family, with the child at the heart of it, and partnering families throughout the child’s school journey is such a natural way to go.
“The through school will give continuity, but parents still have the choice to send their 11-year-old child to another secondary school if they want.
“We have lovely facilities here, our first group is really thriving and their parents are delighted. They have bought into the through school ethos, their children have the benefit of all the facilities of a much bigger school, and they won’t have the stress of moving schools.
“We’re a family-based school where all our children are known as individuals and we have a warmth and a drive to help them succeed.”
Society and families are mixed age, so why not school?
Melanie believes that the bringing together of ages benefits young and older students alike - provided it is carefully managed to give the little ones confidence, rather than overfacing them.
Small mixed age tutor groups are already the norm within the secondary school and now selected childcare students help the Trust’s primary pupils with their reading and other work as part of their SATS course work.
The new arrivals also go into the celebration assemblies at the end of term.
Royds Hall pupils speak some 28 languages, their families come from 30 countries and the pupils, staff and governors are proud of their rich heritage - both historically and today.
Melanie added: “This is such an exciting time, our children will be with us for 13 years. We are preparing the little ones for jobs we can’t even imagine and for life on a global scale.
“To grow up in our multi-cultural and varied environment will benefit them in life.
“We want our little ones to know they have roots in the community, but we also want to give them the wings to fly.”